Friday, October 24, 2008

Kisses from Katie

One of the posts by "Auntie Katie" from her journey in Africa. I have read all of her blog now and it has changed me.........God is in her heart.......he is in all of our hearts.
To find out how to sponser one of her children or to help with a donation click here: http://kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com/ and go to the July link on the right side.

I believe that it is better to give yourself away and in the end feel that your heart is being ripped out of your chest than to guard yourself and forgo the pain.
I have given everything I have – my life, my soul, myself. My heart is entangled in the lives of these children, this mess of poverty, this spiritual joy. I can actually physically feel the hurt in my heart, and as I kiss my daughters goodnight or feel a street kid’s tiny fingers wrap around mine it is almost more than I can bear. But I wouldn’t change a minute. If not being quite as involved, not loving with everything I have, not changing lives would eliminate this hurt of leaving, I would choose the pain.
I believe that life is not about avoiding the storm, but learning to dance in the rain.
In my spirit, I feel the thunderstorm brewing, and at any moment a shower of tears may erupt. I don’t know exactly where I am headed. I don’t know exactly when my heart will feel whole again. But God is teaching me to rejoice – if in nothing else, to rejoice in the fact that He is Lord. He knows the answers to all of my hardest questions, that He can heal my hurt. My identity does not come from where I live or what I am doing there, but from Him alone. My heart is heavy, but I will dance with the joy of the Lord, my Savior.
“I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the thought; decay crept into my bones and my legs trembled… but though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, still I will REJOICE in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength. He makes my feet jump and dance like the feet of a deer; He enables me to climb to the highest heights.”Habakkuk 3:17-19

Here Kitty Kitty



This is our newest kitty--found her in the goat pen. She was realll scary--all hissy and show'n her teeth--not to mention her bright green eyes. Perfect Halloween cat! So we were trying to take her picture and she wouldn't hold still. This is how Luke fixed the problem.....nope, she's not dead...she's actually very happy! I love this picture--Dic loves this picture! Ha!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I CAN'T STOP READING!!!!

I feel like I am reading the best book of my life....a book of a girl who is experiencing something that the majority of us will never be able to comprehend....and I can't stop reading.

Katie (listed in my last post) is a child of God who is with His children in Africa. I have only been through three-fourths of her blogging and I can't stop the stream of tears that come from her eloquent writings. She is doing all of the things I would have been way to scared of at that age--maybe even now. This girl bought a house to take in children off the street--she makes me want to sell everything I own....to think twice when I am buying something I want....and then send all of my money to her to be able to educate the hundreds of children they have enlisted in their schools.

God is working on my heart. Now I see why my friend who is adopting feels so strongly about doing more...that taking one child from this impoverished country is not enough. But according to Katie....the love for God in Africa is not comparible anywhere else. She had one little orphan ask her, "Mommy, if I let Jesus into my heart, will I explode?"
I want to go there.........I want to help........
I am praying for you, Katie, and all you're doing. Your faith in Him is amazing.

Here are the children lined up at her house to be fed.....

On Children
Your children are not your children.They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.They come through you but not from you,And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts.You may house their bodies but not their souls,For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.


You are the bows from which your childrenas living arrows are sent forth.The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.Let our bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, "Speak to us of Children."

From 'The Prophet' by Kahlil Gibran

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pray for them

Because of our dear friends who are anxiously awaiting the adoption of their sweet Ethiopian daughter........ I have come across some families who have a passion for God's children in Africa......and so it has become mine..............
This is one post of a 19 yr old girl ........I am speechless.

Click here to visit her blog.......Incredible!!

if my people PRAY...
most of you who have been on this journey have been able to watch me go from a little "brentwood girl" who loved shoe shopping and her yellow car, who relied on God a little but mostly on her cell phone and her money and her mommy and daddy, to a woman, all alone in a foreign land, with nothing to rely on but The Lord Almighty. you have laughed and cried with me as i have put my trust in God to do the little things like kill the bat in the shower or hold off the rain on a long walk home, and the big things like heal my dying children and provide guidance for each step i take on this path. He has provided unfailingly. sometimes in the way i expected, and sometimes in a way quite His own and so much better. it doesn't change the fact: HE HAS PROVIDED UNFAILINGLY.

oh, but i am a human, and ever so slow to learn. some days i just marvel at His patience with me. i have often wondered since re-entering the US why i feel such great culture shock. how can i feel such a disconnect with the place i was born, raised, and for 18 years called home? i have blamed it on many things. american extravagance. the grocery store that almost sends me into panic attack mode due to the sheer quantity and variety of foods. people building million dollar homes. a lack of understanding and a lack of thanksgiving on the part of all of us. the ease with which we receive medical care. the amount of STUFF that just clutters our lives.it hit me just the other day like a rock on the head. all these things make it difficult to readjust, yes. but what has been the big shock to my system, the huge disconnect, is that i have stepped out of my reliance on God to meet my needs. if i am sick i go to the drug store or doctor. if i am hungry i go to the grocery, need to get somewhere, get in my car, need some advice or guidance, call my mom or go plop on my roommate's bed, want to feel happy, get ben or brad to make me laugh. i keep forgetting to ask God first to heal me, to fill me, to guide me, to rejoice with me. i have to set aside "time to pray" in the morning and at night instead of being in CONSTANT COMMUNICATION with Him. as i sit here writing, i am frustrated at my own stupidity, my human willingness to step back into a place i swore i detested.for a split second this weekend, my world was shattered. my best friend in the universe, who is going to be a very successful accountant one day in the near future, asked if she could take a look at the ministry's finances, practice on them (this was a blessing to me also as sometimes i am not quite as organized as i would like to be). to say the least, she was baffled. how was this even working? out of 150 children that need to go to school, only 44 are sponsored. that means that the other kids are going to school on donations, or my savings. i still owe ugandan schools about 8,000 dollars to finish this term which will end in december, not to mention that the rent on the house is due next month. she couldn't figure out logically how this could work. if i couldn't even finish paying for this school year, how was i going to pay for 2009? if sponsorship money only covered the cost of school fees, how was i going to continue to pay my overhead? my very un-business-like answer was, "so far, we have made ends meet. the money just always comes by the end of the month." i think she wanted to laugh at me, but i love her for not doing it. she explained to me, as so many others, my very wise father included, that this was not possible. i would have to cut back. that only the 44 children who actually have sponsors will be able to continue school in 2009, the rest of the money raised will go to paying off debt we owe the other schools and then as we have savings we can expand to more children. the idea of telling 106 children that not only could they no longer go to school but also that i would not be feeding them or providing their medical care was something i couldn't even imagine. my mind raced. i held my composure until she left and then broke down in tears.

that is when God yelled at me. the rock hit me on the head. i never chose these 150 children, God gave them to me. i never planned to send them all to school, He did. its not me who is carrying all this out, it is our Lord for whom all things, ALL THINGS are possible! i could just see Him up there laughing at me. "Oh, you of little faith! ASK ANYTHING IN MY NAME AND YOU IT WILL BE GRANTED YOU!" i had become so concerned about how I was going to continue to provide for these kids that i has forgotten that it wasn't even supposed to me me who was providing! i had been so busy working to raise money, that i had forgotten to keep asking Him. i literally fell to my knees. i am not cutting back. i am not telling 106 kids that they are not going to school next year. why would i do that? look at the last year. has God ever failed to provide EXACTLY what is needed? no. why then, would i ever believe that He is not going to provide this time?! i fell to my knees. i begged for forgiveness. i promised to do better. i began fasting and praying fervently for his continued provision. since then 13 children have been sponsored, 3 new fundraising dinners have been set up. friends have rallied around me asking what they can do to help. i did nothing but pray. i am no longer fasting but i have resumed my constant communication with God. He gave me this life, why wouldn't he want to be involved in every minute of it?

i have written this long story that you may be encouraged. make a conscious effort today not to set aside "time to pray" but to live in CONSTANT PRAYER. all you have to do is ask. ask and believe that nothing is too small or too big for your Lord. HE WILL SHOW UP. just make sure you invite Him!

70,000 dollars will pay off our debt for this year and send all 150 children to school the whole of next year with money left over for food, water, electricity and medical care. i BELIEVE that God will finish this good work that He started. i KNOW that He is faithful. pray with me. KNOW with me.

for all of you out there praying for a miracle (davis family!) - keep presenting your extravagant requests to God.

MIRACLES HAPPEN.

to sponsor a child look to the right side of the blog under "blog archive" and find the July 3 post.

to donate to help us finish out this year make a check for any amount payable to Amazima Ministries and send it to Amazima Ministries International, 1694 Autumn Place, Brentwood, TN 37027.

thank you to my supportive friends, and all of you who are prayer warriors for us right now. you are instrumental in this great plan, what a
blessing!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Gotcha!

I've been tagged by Amy: I'll do my best!


1. I played with dolls well into 7th grade... (made me a better mom, right?)

2. I tried out for the musical/movie "Annie" when I was about 8 years old. I already had the freckles....my mom culed my hair up just like hers.....and our neighbor girl, interesting enough, had a perfect Annie get-up. So all I lacked was the outgoing personality. They asked me a question about what I wanted to be when I grew up: I just stood there... and stood there... and stood there. Nothing. My mom didn't go over that part with me.

3. I gutted my own antelope after I shot it--pretty much showing off for all the men in my family. Upon grabbing the testicles, (necessary for first cut) I believe I said something like, "Wow I've never touched these before!" Classic, huh?

4. I probably have more animals at my house than anyone else I know: 1 dog, 3 cats (1 in, 2 out...for the time being--free kitty... anyone?), 3 cockatiels, 5 lizards, 3 pigmy goats, 8 chickens, and 1 duck.

5. I once brought a baby chick back to life: Here's the story.....
Mama hen kept pushing egg out of nest--I pushed back in. I checked before bedtime that night and egg had been pushed out again and was FREEZING so I brought it inside. Baby was halfway out and not breathing. I put under a heat-lamp and rubbed (while I cried--thinking I should've done this to begin with) the baby until--at last--movement! Once it's feathers were dry I cut the cord from the egg and called him "LUCKY". I kept him in a check box on my bathroom counter for 2 weeks and when he'd hear me come he'd poke his head over the top. From then on we kept him in a birdcage (he'd swing just like a parakeet) and even when he was way too big for the cage he came to us (he'd come to the back door and peck on the glass) and we'd squeeze him back in. He eventually got soo big that it was time to add him to the other chickens. When the boys would play outside he would run up to them (yes, he ended up being a very large rooster) and scare them to screams. So we gave him to a nice family in Hermosa to breed their Barred Rock hens. They swore they'd never eat him. We wave every time we go by, even though that was years ago and he's probably long gone.....


6. I hated my freckles growing up and when I got old enough to wear makeup I applied it to make sure each of those little suckers was covered up! What changed my mind? Seeing super-models with freckles.

7. I love the Sound of Music:
Just watched it with my kids last night. Every song has meaning in my life. I think anything with music in it is great--I love watching High School Musical with my kids too. I'm a Julie Andrews wanna-be.


So probably some things you didn't need to know, but now it's YOUR turn. Share a story... come on...just one.


I only know so many bloggers...kinda new at this......and two have already been tagged--but, hey, I'm play'n right?

Amy

Sonja

Amanda

Jessica

Siri

Karen

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Proud Soccer Mom

Lukey (member of the Green-Gators) played soccer for the first time this fall and loved it--well, after the first game, anyway (he laid on the ground several times and cried--saying that he couldn't score a goal). By the end of the second game he was boasting about making 7 goals...all by himself...without anyone helping him. :0) Such a super-star!
Today is his last game and it's probably 30-35 degrees and rainy (even had some snow flurries last night), and we are suppose to bring treats. I'm just hopefully, patiently, waiting for the phone call that says we can stay home and drink hot chocolate!!

This is Zachary's 3rd year and he's
really pretty good. His kicks are hard (sometimes too much) and he's really aggressive. I think he'll stick with it for years to come. His bad mama deleted the cool pictures, but thankfully his coach's wife emailed this one to me.
And here is his team....
His coach did an amazing job with the kids. Every game he made a point to make sure they were having fun. And that's good when you sometimes have parents on the sideline seeing all of the mistakes. :0( I think they had a blast----thanks, coach! Yeh Panthers!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

"The Big Hunt"

Well, I drew my cow-elk tag this year, with the contingency that it would be a "family affair". For any of you who don't know, Dic is an avid hunter--and the boys love it too. Me...well...when we started having babies I opted to stay home. I hate the cold (funny, living in SD), and to tell you the truth I've never been excited about walking for mile upon mile, without talking or making a sound. I did, although, shoot an antelope, (prior to children), and even cleaned it myself. Before that I merely shot the legs off a pheasant, hit a turkey (which rolled down a big hill), and shot a cow elk that ran onto private ground. Not much luck in this area of my life. So much for bonding time with my husband!


Last night we went out to scout for some "big boys " (and girls). The kids did really well, other than the slamming car doors and occasional pine cone- squashing. :0) We got a late start and walked into the night without flashlights (secretly hoping the mountain lions had already eaten) to hear the elk buggle. Dic is really good at calling them in--and he got a bull to talk back and forth with him. Talk about a cool experience!! We came really close, but were already out past shooting hours, so we raced back to the car, (with scared little boys in hand), just before complete darkness set in. We dropped Zach off at Grandma Gail's since he wasn't really in the groove of waking up early to possibly walk for infinity for nothing.
Then we got up in the wee hours this morning to set out again--with a good hour drive. It's important to get to "the spot" before the elk bed down for the day. The bulls were buggling like crazy so it wasn't difficult to find them, and within minutes we were back to our area we found last night and spotted some cows (girl elk). Mind you, Dic has been on me for a month about going out to practice shooting. My response..... "I'm a good shot!" And here's the result.........
Okay, and please don't think that I don't have a certain amount of guilt pent up about shooting an animal. I have to keep telling myself that it will feed our family through the winter and the meat is sooo much better than anything you could buy (we've lived on wild game since I met Dic). She didn't have any calves like the majority of the cows we saw, which gave me a sense of relief. And the amount of respect I give to her for providing for us is huge (no, mom, we didn't drink her blood like the Indians use to).
But..............................

I possibly broke my nose in the process. See the bump? I know, scary picture--but see the bump? And the cut on the other side? Not just once, but two times the scope slammed into my nose when the gun kicked back. You know how when somebody punches you in the face and your ears are ringing from intense sound, and... well.... you think you're probably dead? And then someone is giving you instruction to do the same pain-staking thing again... and it takes all you can to not turn around and say some choice words? Well, this was me. But I did it again. Hence the picture. Two shots in the perfect spot just as I was ordered (right behind the shoulder and half-way between the back and belly). All I can say is...... I'm good.

I told my hubby I could have done it all alone. Wink wink. But thanks for holding the tripod, man.
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